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In brief …. 5 June 2015




ServiceNow wins DWP deal

The Department for Work and Pensions has signed enterprise cloud company ServiceNow to support the management of its IT service providers.

The department will use the company’s ServiceNow IT Service Automation suite, which includes functions for a service catalogue, incident, problem, change and knowledge management. ServiceNow said this will help it to gain insights into how much services are used, create service integration arrangements, benchmark service providers and increase engagement with more specialised suppliers.

“Service integration and management can help government departments to manage their often numerous service providers in a more consistent and efficient way, ” said Kevin Tumulty, EMEA vice president for ServiceNow. “This helps them drive greater efficiencies and reduce the cost of service provisioning, resulting in better services.”


£1 million for Northern Ireland broadband

Northern Ireland’s agriculture minister Michelle O’Neill has announced plans to invest £1 million for the further extension of broadband into rural areas.

The money will come from the Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation budget, and is on top of the earlier investment of £7.5 million up to March of this year.

“The initial part of this investment has already seen some 17,000 rural dwellers, farms and businesses getting access the internet, whilst the most recent phase of our funding will enable up a further 14,000 rural people to get connected if they wish,” O’Neill said.

“On top of this, I will invest a further £1million from the Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) budget to facilitating access to broadband for more isolated areas in our community.”

She added that her department was looking to see how it can encourage rural businesses and farmers to use government services now available online.


Healthcare duo to integrate electronic record

Two south-east London healthcare organisations are planning to deploy a shared electronic patient record with the potential to use it to integrate with social care.

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust and Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group have signed a five year contract with Orion Health to use its Cross Community Care Record for information relevant to acute services in hospitals, community services provided by the trust and primary care.

About 4,000 users will be provided with secure access, with the potential to add another 3,500 if the system is extended to primary care in Greenwich, the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and social care in the boroughs of Lewisham and Greenwich.

Elisa Steele, director of IT at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust said: “Our drive to integrate care records reinforces our ambition to truly unite services and staff in Lewisham and Greenwich. In addition, integrating our systems and patient information will help us to coordinate care with our colleagues in local government, supporting the NHS objective to be fully integrated with social care by 2018.”


Standards body chooses tags and codes

The Open Standards Board has decided on two frameworks from the International Standards Organisation for use across government. It has recommended that ISO 639-2:2002 be used for the description of language tags and ISO 3166-1:2013 for country codes.

It said the standards will help users to find specific types of content, such as country information or content written in a language they speak.

The Open Standards Board is a group of experts coming together under the Government Digital Services from government, not-for-profit organisations, academia and industry.


NHS SBS acquires McKesson Shared Services

NHS Shared Business Services has extended its reach with the take-over for an undisclosed sum of McKesson Shared Services (MSS). The latter provides an outsourced HR, payroll and pensions service and will add 44 employment services contracts to NHS SBS’s portfolio of deals with 82 healthcare organisations.

Prior to the acquisition NHS SBS, a joint venture between the Department of Health and Sopra Steria, processed more than two million payroll transactions each year.

David Morris, NHS SBS managing director, commented: “This strategic acquisition complements our existing service provision particularly as MSS mirrors our own approach of working closely in partnership with clients to help them achieve greater efficiency rather than the function being merely a commodity transaction.

“In the face of immense budgetary pressures and tight resources, it is vital that NHS business support functions such as recovering overpayments, processing the monthly payroll run or processing expenses payments are carried out smoothly and accurately.


Capita acquires Isys

Business process management company Capita has acquired workforce management software company Isys Group for an undisclosed sum. Isys specialises in time and attendance systems, workforce scheduling, HR systems and employee screening, and has developed the Intelligent Identity ID verification software for due diligence checks on potential employees.

Sean Massey, managing director of Capita’s secure software and technology business, said: “The acquisition is a great strategic fit with Capita’s existing markets and portfolio of solutions and services. It will enhance our capabilities and create new opportunities to deliver services to our clients, such as automatically feeding information about employee attendance and hours directly into their payroll systems.”


Image: DWP Adelphi building, by Steph Gray from London, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0 or CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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